The Internet has been abuzz with rumors that big name retailers are going to be shutting their virtual Facebook doors!

Some critics of Facebook's social commerce say that aspect of Facebook is doomed to failure and the concept will be "a footnote in the pages of tech history." Whether this assertion is true or whether the companies that jumped into social commerce without a plan remains to be seen. As with any aspect of marketing for your company, time, effort and money should be allocated only after you've devised a well-rounded plan.; without an effective strategy almost any marketing plan – online or off-line – is doomed to failure.

Here are some items to take into consideration when making the decision on whether Facebook commerce is working and why it may not be as part of your overall marketing program:

  1. You don't have an individual dedicated to your Facebook page and your Facebook social commerce. Don't give the responsibility to a two day a week college intern; while you may not need to hire a full time person to specifically focus on this aspect of your marketing you do need someone who is involved in its tracking, follow up and the virtual conversation.
  2. If you overspent when the concept was originally announced, hoping you'd make the biggest splash chances are you your bottom line has suffered. Just as off-line marketing can't be looked at as a one size fits all solution, neither can online marketing. If you're not sure if social commerce will benefit your business, start small.
  3. How active were you in social media and on your Facebook page before you decided to use its social commerce? If you didn't have an active social media presence before you spent money on social commerce how would you think your followers will know you're even advertising? If you're not regularly active on your social media pages, your followers will forget about you and won't come back simply because you've decided to buy ad space.
  4. Are you sharing the "love?" Part of the reason for failure on Facebook is that you don't share the love when it comes to commenting on your followers posts and sharing their posts on your own timeline or wall. Additionally, when you have individuals who have taken the time to like your wall, give them a reason for having come there: a coupon, exclusive products, insider information, etc.
  5. Not being social enough. All of the above tips point toward the need to be social while on social media. Some brands and products are simply not social in their online dealings. You need to be engaged with your followers, comment on their comments, ask questions, offer polls and surveys, gauge the pulse of the community.

Because Facebook has a global reach, even though you may be a local service provider, you still have the potential to interact with myriad people from all corners of the globe. Make the most of those interactions and be social!